Lily-Rose Roades was the only child of Tom and Celia Roades, who were both productive human beings and stable parents until she was six years old.
Tom and another longshoreman, his friend Alec Rosewood, were walking along the tops of stacked cargo containers, using long poles to reach down and unfasten the boxes so a crane could later lift them ashore.
They walked slowly, as there was early morning dew and the container surfaces could be slippery.
Tom didn’t remember losing his footing, he remembered nothing of that morning, or of that week. Alec said Tom was out of his line of vision for just a few moments, and they found him below on the deck of the ship, his body shattered.
He was a lucky man. The broken bones healed, for the most part, but the blow to the head changed him forever.
Lily-Rose Roades soon realized the man who lived with them after the accident was not her father, even though he looked like and had the voice of her father, he wore her father’s clothes and slept in the bedroom with her mother.
She tried to love this new man, but she missed her father terribly. And this man was unloveable, waking her at all hours of the night for no reason. He drank alcohol, a lot of it, and while he never touched her he often shouted at her, things she didn’t understand and couldn’t remember.
Her school work suffered, and she was punished for poor concentration at school, and at home for her poor grades.
Her mother’s soul seemed to leave her body around this time. She quit her job. She pleaded with her husband to leave their child alone, but he did not. He continued to terrorize her and her mother continued to plead.
This went on for nine years. Lily-Rose became at various times difficult, remote, violent, self-destructive, depressed, and reckless.
She understood problematic childhoods. She recognized the neglected and abused. She recognized Todd Caper, and plotted to save his life as hers had been saved.